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Lightspeed Magazine, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue by [Lightspeed Magazine, Christie Yant, Seanan McGuire, N.K. Jemisin, Charlie Jane Anders, Amal El-Mohtar, Carrie Vaughn, Maria Dahvana Headley, Maureen F. McHugh, Eleanor Arnason]
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Lightspeed Magazine, June 2014: Women Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 ratings
Part of: Lightspeed Magazine (113 Books)

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  • Part of: Lightspeed Magazine (113 Books)

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Editorial Reviews


  • "A master class in all the ways women are writing--and have written--some of the best science fiction available." -NPR, Named One of NPR's Best Books of 2014
  • "Part of what makes this issue such a delight [is] the range and diversity of what falls under the heading of 'science fiction,' all of it written by women. From each piece to the next, the essays and the stories alike, there are shifts. These stories are united by genre and their expansion of what it mean to be in that genre, and they do not echo each other. Each has unique touches, angles, and interests; if nothing else, it's great work to have collected them all together under one aegis to explore what it means to say that women don't write sf and how frankly absurd that is. But more than that, too, because these stories are so very good."
  • "Gather[s] together some of the strongest voices in science fiction. ... Filled with beautifully crafted science fiction stories, original artwork, and interviews. ... Beautiful and thought-provoking." -FangirlNation

From the Author

     The summer of 2013 was a rough one for women in science fiction. Every few weeks there was a new reminder that to a certain subset of the field, we're not welcome here. There were multiple articles returning to the tired accusation that women (still) aren't writing "real" SF; disputes about the way the field is represented by vintage cheesecake art on the cover of a professional trade publication; the glib admonition that if we are to succeed, we should be more like Barbie, in her "quiet dignity." For some of us, it was business as usual, as evidenced by Pat Murphy's unfortunately timeless quote above. For others, it was a very nasty surprise to discover this undercurrent running through the ocean of imaginative fiction we love.
     And it just. Kept. Coming.
     We got tired. We got angry. And then we came out the other side of exhaustion and anger deeply motivated to do something.
     This issue is just one result. Look around and you'll see others, as thick on the ground this year as those unpleasant incidents were last year. All-women anthologies like Athena's Daughters. A rebooted SFWA Bulletin. The recent Hugo Award nominations. There are others. Things are changing. I hope it sticks.
     There was--is--something else going on, too, something apart from the attacks from the outside. It's a smaller, quieter attack from within, and it's just as pernicious. Too many accomplished writers are convinced that they aren't qualified to write science fiction because they "don't have the science." I've heard this worry from men, too, but more often I hear it from women. I don't know which is worse: the men who tell us we're doing it wrong, or the voice within ourselves that insists that we'll fail if we try.
     These are different strokes from the same brush: the belief that only one kind of science fiction--rocket ships, robots, extra-planetary adventures--is the "real" kind. Lightspeed has always rejected the narrow definition. Science fiction, like everything else, has changed over time. It has expanded and altered, just as those reading and writing it have.
     Why "Women Destroy Science Fiction"? Are we really trying to destroy it? As you read the stories in this issue, you may very well think so. Here you'll find galactic gastronomy and alternate astronomy, far-future courtship and a near-future food court--right alongside alien invasion and deep-space salvage missions. My hope is that one or more of these stories will reach a reader who never realized that kind of story is science fiction, too, and will seek out more like it. And I hope that one or more will convince those writers--the fantasists, the poets, the ones more comfortable in Middle Earth or the Midwest than on Mars--that they, too, can create science fiction stories and participate in the expansion of the field.
     The experience of reading submissions for this issue was humbling and deeply gratifying. Women of all ages from all over the world sent us their stories. Many of them had never tried to write science fiction before; some had never considered submitting their work for publication until they heard about WDSF. They pushed past their doubt and fear, finished their pieces and clicked submit for the very first time just to be a part of this. If you were one of those authors, please don't let it be the last time. We need your voice--don't let it be silenced. We had to pass on so many excellent stories, many of which will surely find homes elsewhere. To all of those women who trusted us with your work, thank you. I could not be more honored and grateful to each and every one of you.
     This is the biggest project Lightspeed has ever taken on. When John Joseph Adams asked me to act as guest editor for the issue, I knew immediately who I wanted at my side to bring the idea to life. I assembled my editorial team--Wendy Wagner, Rachel Swirsky, Robyn Lupo, and Gabrielle de Cuir, all of whom you'll hear from in a moment--and together we prepared to bring the voices of more women into the world.
     But then something happened: The issue kept growing. We made room for more fiction, more articles, personal essays, and an expanded podcast.
     As the issue grew, so did the team. Authors, essayists, illustrators, voice actors, interviewers and interviewees, slush readers and copyeditors--more women got involved week after week. All told, this issue is the work of 113 women.
     And those are just the direct contributors. That doesn't count the more than one thousand women who sent us stories, or the nearly three thousand people who backed the Kickstarter, or the countless supporters who blogged on their own sites, posted to social media, or otherwise boosted the signal.
     We did this. As one person put it, we took hurt and rage and turned it into something beautiful.
And we did it together.

Product details

  • Print length : 490 pages
  • Publication date : May 31, 2014
  • File size : 2512 KB
  • Publisher : John Joseph Adams (May 31, 2014)
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 37 ratings

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5.0 out of 5 stars Una lettura obbligata per gli amanti della fantascienza
Reviewed in Italy on September 17, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars Take That, You Chauvinistic Swine!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 4, 2014
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1.0 out of 5 stars It really is a collection to avoid
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2014
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